Farmer is devastated after sheep savaged

Julie Bury, pictured with ram Joshua, has had two pedigree sheep killed. Picture: OX60065 Antony Moore

Julie Bury, pictured with ram Joshua, has had two pedigree sheep killed. Picture: OX60065 Antony Moore Buy this photo

First published in News The Oxford Times: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter. Please call me on (01865) 425411

A PRIZE-winning farmer has hit out at irresponsible dog owners after two of her pedigree sheep were killed in vicious attacks.

Julie Bury found a ewe dead in a field near Witney on Monday, days after she had to have a £600 Bleu du Maine ewe put down after it was left bleeding to death from a leg injury.

She has urged the public to keep dogs on leads when walking through fields with livestock.

The first sheep was attacked between 3.30pm last Wednesday and 3.30pm last Thursday.

Mrs Bury, of Malt House Farm, Brighthampton, near Witney, said she was devastated to find two prized animals savaged in quick succession.

She said: “I am completely gutted, heartbroken.

“I’ve no idea how the Bleu du Maine was even still alive because her leg was that badly eaten away.

“It looks like they have been eaten by a dog which is just horrible.

“The sheep are so friendly they will come up to anyone.”

She added: “I don’t know why the ewe was singled out when she was the largest in the field.

“You get used to death as a sheep farmer, they are forever thinking of ingenious ways of hurting themselves and it is your job to keep them alive, but it’s terrible to go through something like this.

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“The cost is another thing to bear, but to think of how they were killed breaks my heart.

“It is a lot of money to lose.

“I’ve had some for 10 years and am despairing to leave them alone.”

Mrs Bury has more than 200 sheep which she keeps as a hobby and enters into shows.

She said the ewes were kept specifically to breed lambs each year, and the loss of her main ewe would hit her hard.

Police are appealing for witnesses to both attacks in the field adjoining the Thames Path at West End, Stanton Harcourt.

Anyone with any information should call 101.

WHAT THE LAW SAYS ABOUT DOGS

Must dogs be kept on a lead on a public right of way?
The Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act 1953 s1(2)(c) makes it an offence for a dog to be at large – not on a lead or otherwise under close control – in a field or enclosure in which there are sheep.


Can dog walkers be stopped from using a public right of way?
No. A Traffic Regulation Order could be used to prohibit use of a public right of way by anyone accompanied by a dog but this may not be possible given the exceptions provided by Dog Control Orders.


Can a farmer legally shoot a dog?
Section 9 of the Animals Act 1971 states that the owner of livestock, the landowner or anyone acting on their behalf, can shoot any dog if they believe it is “the only reasonable way” of stopping it worrying livestock.
The livestock owner must report the shooting to the police within 48 hours.

Comments (4)

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10:14am Fri 28 Jun 13

## Nonny Mouse ## says...

"Oh no, my dog wouldn't do a thing like that."

People forget that Dog's are animals and can get taken over by wild instincts and need to take responsibility for them.

Aside from the threat to livestock is the general nuisance to other people in the countryside, namely horse rider's and cyclists. Dog's are predictably unpredictable.
"Oh no, my dog wouldn't do a thing like that." People forget that Dog's are animals and can get taken over by wild instincts and need to take responsibility for them. Aside from the threat to livestock is the general nuisance to other people in the countryside, namely horse rider's and cyclists. Dog's are predictably unpredictable. ## Nonny Mouse ##
  • Score: 1

12:01pm Fri 28 Jun 13

Tally74 says...

What a terrible thing to happen. But it is, unfortunately, something that happens quite often.
Thank you for publishing the laws regarding dogs and livestock. It would be a help if all dog owners took notice of this and if all trainers at dog clubs would also print that out and tell all their members what the law is. That is what I am going to do as I know 99% of dog owners don't seem to know about this law or any of the other laws regarding dogs. Then, hopefully, we can all walk our dogs safely and this lady won't lose any more of her lovely sheep.
What a terrible thing to happen. But it is, unfortunately, something that happens quite often. Thank you for publishing the laws regarding dogs and livestock. It would be a help if all dog owners took notice of this and if all trainers at dog clubs would also print that out and tell all their members what the law is. That is what I am going to do as I know 99% of dog owners don't seem to know about this law or any of the other laws regarding dogs. Then, hopefully, we can all walk our dogs safely and this lady won't lose any more of her lovely sheep. Tally74
  • Score: 0

2:41pm Fri 28 Jun 13

King Joke says...

Surely only an complete and utter idiot would let a dog off the lead in a field full of sheep? As a responsible dog owner I really do despair! :-(
Surely only an complete and utter idiot would let a dog off the lead in a field full of sheep? As a responsible dog owner I really do despair! :-( King Joke
  • Score: 1

10:57pm Fri 28 Jun 13

son says...

Seems there are a few of these idiots about. At Cogges meadow the other week, a woman had her doberman off the lead and wasn't paying any attention to it at all. Scared the life out of my 3yr old feeding the ducks, and I had to push it away as it was in his face (while holding my 3 month old baby) and call her to take her dog away. She informed that the dog was 'friendly' and that my son needed to get used to dogs! People like that give dog owners a bad name, and have actually made my son scared of dogs. We all understand that dogs need exercise off a lead, but some people need to learn to do this responsibly.
Seems there are a few of these idiots about. At Cogges meadow the other week, a woman had her doberman off the lead and wasn't paying any attention to it at all. Scared the life out of my 3yr old feeding the ducks, and I had to push it away as it was in his face (while holding my 3 month old baby) and call her to take her dog away. She informed that the dog was 'friendly' and that my son needed to get used to dogs! People like that give dog owners a bad name, and have actually made my son scared of dogs. We all understand that dogs need exercise off a lead, but some people need to learn to do this responsibly. son
  • Score: 0

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